Thursday, 24 June 2010

Don't Worry About Me (2009)

Synopsis: London bloke David has one night stand and follows her back to Liverpool. Doesn't work out with her, and he ends up hanging out with a lass from a betting shop, Tina, for the day and night. Goes back to London having learnt some important lessons.

This directorial debut from actor David Morrissey wasn't quite the gem I was expecting, but there are still bags of affection up on screen.

The story (fish out of water gets shown round Liverpool and also goes on an emotional journey) offers plenty of opportunity for insights for both characters. There are clues all along the way that make us think there's more to David than meets the eye and Tina also gets the chance to reveal a big secret.

Although it's difficult to explain exactly why, the fine detail of the writing (the script was written by the two leads) and characterisation isn't as nuanced as it could have been. Some of the acting (mainly with David's character) is a bit heavy handed. The scene on the beach with David on his mobile sounds and feels as if it was designed more for a stage play than a film as he repeats his offensive remark several times until Tina hears it. Surely with film this can be done more subtly?

The photography and set up of the frames feels very definitely like an amateur's debut or film school graduation film. Unfair maybe, but if you compare this to Samantha Morton's debut, The Unloved, you will see what I mean. I suppose with many actors' directorial debuts, you're never sure how much is their work and how much slack is taken up by DoPs etc. but The Unloved is really something quite remarkable.

Don't Worry About Me feels more like a starting point, a first go at making a film. Nothing wrong with that at all, except perhaps I was expecting something more.

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